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Aspergers - 16 year old son - not ready for college

(9 Posts)
Motherhoodismytrade Thu 23-Oct-14 13:51:09

First time on Mumsnet.

I have an Aspergers 16 year old son - dx at 15yrs.

He is bright - got his gcses despite v. low attendance at school.

Now at sixth form college, 8 weeks in and his attendance is already as low as 50%. Only difference between school and college is that he likes going to college and the atmosphere there. He just can't walk into the classrooms.

Anxiety and paranoia are the issues. We've had no help since his dx. Children Mental Health services in meltdown. They signed him off at sixteen with a good luck letter and a list of important numbers including The Samaritans.

I am saying to DS - lets leave it a year. Get used to dx, Get a job or do voluntary work. Get some help with anxiety - meds or counselling.

DS wants to stay, even though he is doing very little studying.

Meanwhile college calling us in for emergancy meeting next week.

Any advice welcome

LIZS Thu 23-Oct-14 16:58:43

Does the college offer any Learning support or counselling ? Are there any strategies' which could help him such as arriving a few minutes early and picking his seat or having the same person accompany him. Do all his tutors know the issues and how to anticipate of he has a problem, does he recognise that in himself so he can be excused or find a quiet place to calm down. Unfortunately just leaving isn't really an option in year 12, he has to be in some form of learning or apprenticeship. Maybe he could focus on a particular subject for now or use distance/e-learning , webinars etc to catch up.

Motherhoodismytrade Fri 24-Oct-14 14:36:45

Thanks for your reply.

All the tutors have been informed of his dx and I have done a bullet point guide to how things affect him.

The college have been great, appointing mentors and trying to get some counselling arranged. A big improvement on secondary school. We have also been referred back to CAMHs, but they are so stretched I am not holding my breath.

He is now willing to go to counselling, which is a big step forward.

However he is exhausted. He had a miserable time at school, especially primary school - that was pre diagnosis. Now he is getting used to this new Aspergers label - as well as other teenage issues. Forcing him through sixth form when he is not ready is setting him up to fail.

BrainyMess Tue 18-Nov-14 15:05:07

"Forcing him through sixth form when he is not ready is setting him up to fail."

What you have said there is very very true.

I am a mother with Aspergers, now in my 40's.

I left secondary school with the best results of my year.
However I could not cope with leaving my secondary school and going to sixth form.
I completely bombed out. I used to go off to the library in the centre of my city/go to the cinema/go for walks alone rather than go to college.

I left sixth form with no A levels and my belief in my own ability completely shattered. I have been frightened to even try because of fear of failure ever since.
Its like an academic paralysis for me.

I think you are right to let him mature before taking his A levels.
Dont set him up to fail.

Let him take them back up as a more mature student of say 20.
In the mean time develop his life skills.

As a mature student doing say an access course he would not have to be in the cruel maelstrom of 6th form life.

HTH

Janey64 Thu 20-Nov-14 19:29:22

Hi my son also found it difficult at school and was diagnosed late. What I found helpful was attending a Tony Attwood training day. He was fantastic speaker and explained why my son was different and why he had difficulties in school. He was also really positive about the good qualities that Aspies have. Berkshire Autistic Society are running a two day conference on 7 and 8 January 2015 at Reading Town Hall and they will be covering friendships, cognitive difficulties on day one and adolescent issues and CBT for depression on day two. Tickets are from £71 for both days including refreshment. Booking can be made here
www.autismberkshire.org.uk/professor-tony-attwood-conference-2015.aspx
Hope that helps

BrainyMess Fri 21-Nov-14 16:40:51

Wow, thanks Janey!

magso Mon 24-Nov-14 14:14:31

In our area (well the next county over) there is a transition course for academically able 16 year olds with HFA/aspergers, I think to help with the very difficulty you describe - I don't know much about it as ds has LD (LFASD).I wonder if there is something similar local to you. If I come across the name for it (its something obscure and not at all obvious) I will PM you in case you are not far away.

aeon456 Sat 27-Dec-14 12:17:19

I have Aspergers and I didn't cope well with college (was undiagnosed at that stage) When oldr I did a vocational City & Guilds course in IT which included work experience and I got taken on full time from this and did further qualifications half day release from work (BTEC HNC in Computer Studies) and this enabled me to always be able to find jobs when I applied for them, in both IT Helpdesk support and admin jobs. So I would advise a vocational course in a smaller setting if possible as it would be less intimidating.

noblegiraffe Sat 27-Dec-14 12:30:27

The school leaving age is 17 at the moment so he wouldn't be able to just get a job for a year. He needs to stay in some form of education or training, although this could be part time.

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